By Wrangler Network contributor Miss Rodeo America
If you had told me three years ago that I would be THE Miss Rodeo Oregon someday, I would have told you that you were crazy and then gone and lifted some weights.
But there was one person who knew, who knew deep down, that we were “coming back.” That would be the first comment my older sister Nicole Schrock said to me after her hiatus during the Miss Rodeo America Pageant at the end of her reign as the 2013 Miss Rodeo Oregon. I looked at her like she was crazy and then threw a quesadilla at her figuring she was just hungry and that she wasn’t being herself – she doesn’t like chocolate, a Snickers wouldn’t of worked.
It started the wheels turning on an idea that puts me here.
After a year of preparing myself for the test of the Miss Rodeo Oregon Pageant, I have to say that it was one of the hardest things that I have ever done (and I’ve played THE Stanford women’s basketball team!). With that being said, it is also one of my greatest accomplishments.
Over the past eight years I have lived in a fishbowl where people watch, comment and criticize every second of the day. I have had to network with the top personnel in my area of expertise as I try to promote my organization to the next level. I have had to be able to give a motivational speech, an instructional lecture, an opinionated answer on a current event, and proactively combat negativity through radio, television, conference calls, and in person at the drop of a hat. I have had to be presentable at all times as I am the highest level of ambassador for my sport for my age. I have had to carry myself in the highest regard with the utmost respect towards others as I work with youth from all over the world who hope to someday be in my position.
Sounds like a rodeo queen doesn’t it?
This is my FIRST rodeo queen title and what I described to you was what my life was like playing at the most elite level of basketball. I am not only born and raised from the “Beaver State” but I am also a former Oregon State University women’s basketball player! Playing in the PAC-10 (yikes, dating myself here), PAC-12, and the NCAA, participating in the Student Athlete Advisory Council and working with Nike headquarters, I was given the skill sets that I use on a day to day basis promoting Oregon, rodeo, agriculture and the western way of life.
Every year that I was growing up I was told I would have to choose. Either high school basketball or high school equestrian team, either horse 4H or club basketball, either college basketball or rodeo; but by golly I was going to make both work! And the truth is, I never could have done all that I did and all that I continue to do if it wasn’t for my support system of family members with the same passion. My mom grew up riding and playing basketball, as did my sister! My dad balances owning three businesses to combine his passions. I thank God daily for my family and they could never understand the depth of my appreciation!
I hope that for my year as Miss Rodeo Oregon I can bring a new sense of energy to the promotion and marketing programs for agriculture, rodeo and the western way of life. I want to inspire others that, no matter their background, they can do whatever they set their mind too with a whole lot of hard work and just as much faith. After this year I hope to go to work using media and strong marketing strategies to help educate and reach the next generation of western way of life fans.
I may have replaced my hair gel for hairspray, my straightener for curlers, my Nike basketball shoes for Justin’s, my basketball for a pair of customized chaps, but at my core I am still the same little girl who never wanted to choose between playing basketball and riding horses.
Miss Rodeo Oregon